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Trump signs executive order cancelling student loan debt for disabled veterans

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075272944001_6075274531001-vs Trump signs executive order cancelling student loan debt for disabled veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 3d05e7fe-f4f3-51b6-bdc4-b1d7dc55f985

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that forgives all student loan debt for any permanently disabled U.S. military veterans.

The order, which Trump signed following a speech at the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Ky., also clears those eligible veterans from having to pay any federal income tax on the loans. Trump added that he is pressuring individual states to follow suit.

“The debt of these disabled veterans will be completely erased,” Trump said. “That’s hundreds of millions of dollars of student loans debt for our disabled veterans that will be completely erased.”

STUDENTS, FAMILIES STRUGGLE TO REPAY BILLIONS IN CRUSHING LOAN DEBTS

The memo Trump signed directs the government to develop an “expedited” process so veterans can have their federal student loan debt discharged “with minimal burdens.” Currently, just half of the roughly 50,000 disabled veterans who are qualified to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have received the benefit because of a burdensome application process.

Under the current process, disabled veterans can have their debt forgiven under a loan forgiveness program, called Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, or TPD, as long as they have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100 percent. As of July, however, only about 20 percent of the eligible pool of veterans had taken advantage of the program due to the complicated nature of the application and other factors.

Trump’s announcement comes days after the administration hired a longtime student loan industry executive to be the federal government’s top watchdog for the student loan market. Robert Cameron will serve as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new student loan ombudsman, the bureau said Friday.

It’s a job designed to protect student loan borrowers from poor practices in the student loan industry and one of the few positions explicitly named in the Dodd-Frank Act, the law passed after the 2008 financial crisis that created the bureau. It’s considered the go-to office for borrowers who have complaints about their loans. Cameron most recently worked at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, better known as FedLoan Servicing, as its head of compliance and risk mitigation.

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PHEAA has been cited for poor industry practices, most notably for how it has handled the troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, a program designed to allow student loan borrowers who work in public service jobs to get part of their loan balances forgiven.

The executive order also comes as student loan forgiveness has become a major talking point among the 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates, with contenders like Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts pushing plans to completely wipe out student loan debt nationwide.

Currently, Americans hold around $1.6 trillion in student loan debt.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075272944001_6075274531001-vs Trump signs executive order cancelling student loan debt for disabled veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 3d05e7fe-f4f3-51b6-bdc4-b1d7dc55f985   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6075272944001_6075274531001-vs Trump signs executive order cancelling student loan debt for disabled veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 3d05e7fe-f4f3-51b6-bdc4-b1d7dc55f985

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US Navy ‘ready’ for whatever ‘needs to be done’ in Venezuela, Naval commander says

The U.S. Navy is prepared to take action if needed in Venezuela, a top U.S. Naval commander said this week.

Adm. Craig Faller, who heads the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) based in Florida, said Tuesday that the Navy must “remain on the balls of our feet” when it comes to the situation in Venezuela, which has been facing a humanitarian crisis amid a fight for control of the country.

“I won’t speak to details of what we’re planning and what we’re doing, but we remain ready to implement policy decisions and we remain on the balls of our feet,” Faller said in Rio de Janeiro as the U.S. started a multination maritime exercise there, AFP reported.

“The United States Navy is the most powerful navy in the world. If a policy decision is made to deploy the Navy, I’m convinced that we’ll be able to do what needs to be done,” he added.

U.S. Navy and Marine forces, as well as military personnel from 12 other Latin American and Caribbean countries, are taking part in UNITAS, a maritime exercise to improve operations and strengthen relationships. The annual drill is being conducted off the coast of Brazil until Aug. 30, AFP said.

VENEZUELAN FIGHTER JET ‘AGGRESSIVELY SHADOWED’ NAVY AIRCRAFT OVER CARIBBEAN SEA, US MILITARY SAYS

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-38fd56462f9d44ed8417ab07517ad729 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7

People protest a day after a massive blackout as they gather for a rally called by self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaido, in Caracas, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

This year, the exercise should send a message to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Faller noted.

“[It] sends a message to Maduro and other partners that don’t share the same values,” he said. “Naval exercises send a message to the world of what democracies that work together can do across a range of complex threats.”

“The U.S. government[‘s] focus continues to be to place focused and targeted pressure on an illegitimate regime to ensure there’s a transition to a legitimate, democratic government. Part of that focus is to ensure that the right humanitarian assistance is allowed to get to the people who need it,” Faller said.

Maduro has served as president of Venezuela since 2013, but this past January, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president and swore himself in, attempting to oust Maduro. The U.S. and more than four dozen other countries recognize Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.

VENEZUELA’S WAR ON CHILDREN AT A ‘BREAKING POINT’ OVER LACK OF MEDICAL CARE

Maduro, who has described humanitarian aid as an “invasion” of the country, has had the support of Russia, China and Cuba, among others. Russia has vowed to send naval ships to Venezuela in a show of support to the socialist regime, Newsweek reported on Thursday.

President Trump has warned against Maduro’s repression, tweeting this past February, “I ask every member of the Maduro regime: End this nightmare of poverty, hunger and death. LET YOUR PEOPLE GO. Set your country free! Now is the time for all Venezuelan Patriots to act together, as one united people. Nothing could be better for the future of Venezuela!”

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Earlier this month, the Trump administration implemented a freeze on the Maduro regime’s assets in the U.S., stopping short of putting a full economic embargo on the country.

When Faller was asked this week how Maduro might respond to the military drills, he said, “I don’t know how Maduro looks at anything.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a3f316fcace44b3ca89e71e5cf593384 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a3f316fcace44b3ca89e71e5cf593384 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7

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China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even ‘before America can respond’, think tank warns

A new study by a think tank warns the U.S. has lost its military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific region, with China being able to launch and win a military conflict even before American forces are able to respond.

The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center released a study on Friday detailing the profound changes it claims is happening in the region, paving way for China to exert more influence.

CHINESE DIPLOMAT WARNS BEIJING ‘WILL NOT SIT ON ITS HANDS’; MILITARY RUNS DRILLS NEAR HONG KONG BORDER

The report, titled “Averting Crisis: American strategy, military spending and collective defence in the Indo-Pacific,” claims that “America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific and its capacity to uphold a favorable balance of power is increasingly uncertain.”

“America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific and its capacity to uphold a favorable balance of power is increasingly uncertain.”

— The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center

The researchers found that although the U.S. military is still perceived as a force to be reckoned with globally, the “combined effect of ongoing wars in the Middle East, budget austerity, underinvestment in advanced military capabilities and the scale of America’s liberal order-building agenda has left the U.S. armed forces ill-prepared for great power competition in the Indo-Pacific.”

More alarmingly, the report warns that China would be able to use the U.S. military’s lack of reach in the region to launch a military attack against America’s regional allies and achieve victory even before the U.S. responds, Newsweek reported.

Westlake Legal Group President-Xi- China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even 'before America can respond', think tank warns Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c66fbbc-2635-5b73-86ad-b181db90012c

FILE – In this June 29. 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

“Having studied the American way of war — premised on power projection and all-domain military dominance — China has deployed a formidable array of precision missiles and other counter-intervention systems to undercut America’s military primacy,” the report said.

NEWT GINGRICH: US MUST STAND WITH PEOPLE OF HONG KONG FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM

“By making it difficult for US forces to operate within range of these weapons, Beijing could quickly use limited force to achieve a fait accompli victory — particularly around Taiwan, the Japanese archipelago or maritime Southeast Asia — before America can respond, sowing doubt about Washington’s security guarantees in the process.”

“By making it difficult for US forces to operate within range of these weapons, Beijing could quickly use limited force to achieve a fait accompli victory … before America can respond, sowing doubt about Washington’s security guarantees in the process.”

— The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center

The report comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. While the two countries have repeatedly clashed over trade, with President Trump criticizing the Chinese government over policies that he claims hurt the American economy, the U.S. military cautioned China earlier this year over the islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea.

Two U.S. warships sailed near islands claimed by China back in May, while two American nuclear-capable B-52H flew over the South China Sea at least twice in March.

US WARSHIPS SAIL NEAR DISPUTED ISLANDS CLAIMED BY CHINA, AS TENSIONS ESCALATE: REPORT

The South China Sea has been the site of ongoing tension, primarily between the U.S. and China, which claims nearly all of the strategic waters despite competing claims from other Southeast Asian nations.

But as the U.S. and China engage in more symbolic military moves, the Friday’s study claims the Chinese military could launch a “limited war” to retake Taiwan or fully take control of the disputed islands using not only conventional capabilities but cyber and political weapons as well.

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“In all these scenarios, Beijing’s aim would be to strike first to secure longstanding political goals or strategically valuable objectives before the United States can do anything to stop it,” the report said.

Westlake Legal Group President-Xi- China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even 'before America can respond', think tank warns Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c66fbbc-2635-5b73-86ad-b181db90012c   Westlake Legal Group President-Xi- China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even 'before America can respond', think tank warns Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c66fbbc-2635-5b73-86ad-b181db90012c

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Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing

The sites where the United States manufactured and tested some of the most lethal weapons known to humankind are now peaceful havens for wildlife.

They now protect black bears and black-footed ferrets, coral reefs and brushy steppes, rare birds and imperiled salmon.

An astonishing array of animals and habitats has flourished on six obsolete weapons complexes — mostly for nuclear or chemical arms — because the sites banned the public and other intrusions for decades, The Associated Press reported.

The government had converted the sites into refuges under U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service management.

Westlake Legal Group AP-Amchitka-Island Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing Frank Miles fox-news/us/military fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc article 2051b72b-4072-55e8-bcde-70b5864c1b27

This June 1971 photo shows the facility and cement pad at ground zero on Amchitka Island, Alaska, where a 1-megaton nuclear blast was detonated about 4,000 feet underground in 1969. (AP Photo, File)

Amchitka Island, part of Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, was the site of three U.S. underground nuclear tests in the 1960s and early 1970s. An unknown volume of radioactive material remained in caverns blasted out by the detonations. Part of the island, closed to the public, has been designated a wilderness area.

Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, Indiana, formerly was known as Jefferson Proving Ground. The Army had test-fired more than 24 million artillery rounds over half a century there. The firing range remained littered with an estimated 154,000 pounds of shell fragments made of depleted uranium. The refuge was designated a globally important bird area by an avian conservation coalition, with part of the site open to the public.

Westlake Legal Group AP-Handford Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing Frank Miles fox-news/us/military fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc article 2051b72b-4072-55e8-bcde-70b5864c1b27

A sign at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation warning of possible hazards in the soil there along the Columbia River near Richland, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Nine reactors produced plutonium for U.S. nuclear weapons at the site since known as Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington state. Amid the urgency of World War II and the Cold War, Hanford left behind vast quantities of contaminated soil and water. Its shrubby grassland and Columbia River habitat supported mink and otters, threatened salmon and many other species.

Westlake Legal Group AP_Johnston-Atoll- Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing Frank Miles fox-news/us/military fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc article 2051b72b-4072-55e8-bcde-70b5864c1b27

Johnston Island, part of Johnston Atoll is 825 miles southwest of Honolulu. (AP Photo/Ronen Zilberman, File)

Johnston Island, part of the Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the central Pacific, was a launching pad for U.S. atmospheric nuclear tests in the 1960s. In 1962, two launches failed, scattering radioactive debris on the 1-square-mile island. The refuge has been home to abundant seals and corals since then.

Westlake Legal Group AP-Rocky-Flats-National-Wildlife-Refuge- Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing Frank Miles fox-news/us/military fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc article 2051b72b-4072-55e8-bcde-70b5864c1b27

Hikers heading down a trail in the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge in Broomfield, Colo., in November 2018. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

The U.S. Energy Department manufactured plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads at the site later known as Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, northwest of Denver. It had a long history of leaks, fires and environmental violations. Its rare tallgrass prairie has been home to hundreds of species, including an endangered jumping mouse.

Westlake Legal Group AP-Rocky-Mountain-Arsenal-National-Wildlife-Refuge Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing Frank Miles fox-news/us/military fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc article 2051b72b-4072-55e8-bcde-70b5864c1b27

Critics have said Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Colorado showed the shortcomings of a cleanup designed to be good enough for a wildlife refuge but not for people to live there. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, in the northeast Denver suburbs, was a site where the Army had manufactured chemical weapons and private companies made pesticides. Bald eagles nested at the site, and wildlife officials have reintroduced bison and endangered ferrets.

The military closed the sites to keep people safe from the dangerous work that went on there, not to save the environment, said David Havlick, a professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs who has studied military-to-wildlife conversions.

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Many of the conversions came after the first and second world wars. It was an inexpensive way to expand the national refuge system, especially in urban areas with scarce open space, said Mark Madison, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s historian.

When the Cold War thawed in the 1980s, more surplus military lands were earmarked for refuges. Some were among the most dangerously polluted sites in the nation but held swaths of hard-to-find habitat.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP-Hanford-Reach-National-Monument Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing Frank Miles fox-news/us/military fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc article 2051b72b-4072-55e8-bcde-70b5864c1b27   Westlake Legal Group AP-Hanford-Reach-National-Monument Sites of major US weapons tests now see wildlife flourishing Frank Miles fox-news/us/military fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc article 2051b72b-4072-55e8-bcde-70b5864c1b27

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Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood

An Indiana National Guard soldier died in a tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood in Texas on Thursday, according to officials.

The Indiana National Guard said in a news release that Staff Sgt. Andrew Michael St. John, 29, of Greenwood, Ind., served as an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment with the Indiana National Guard.

St. John was on orders at Fort Hood as an embedded observer controller and trainer with Army National Guard Operations Group Wolf.

IDAHO PILOT BECOMES FIRST WOMAN TO FLY F-35 JET FOR MARINE CORPS

“For those who knew and worked with Staff Sgt. St. John, he was respected and admired for his great love for his country and family,” Lt. Col. Chad Pittman, commander of the 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, said in a statement. “He continually sought ways to ensure the success of subordinates, better himself as leader, and contribute to the achievements the organization. My deepest sympathy for his family at this sad and difficult time.”

Westlake Legal Group StJohn Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/military/national-guard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc article 322319b8-04e4-58fd-8ffd-ea3905fbeeb7

Indiana National Guard Staff Sgt. Andrew Michael St. John, 29, of Greenwood, Ind., died Thursday in a tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood in Texas, according to officials. (Indiana National Guard)

The 29-year-old had previously deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the NATO Medal and Indiana Military Volunteer Emblem.

ARMY’S HOUSING CHIEF RELIEVED OF COMMAND DUE TO LOSS OF CONFIDENCE IN HIS LEADERSHIP

The Indiana National Guard also described him as a “proud father and husband.”

“Janet and I offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends grieving the loss of Indiana native, Andrew St. John, who passed away Thursday evening at Fort Hood in Texas. He served with distinction and was known as someone who always put others above himself,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement to FOX59. “I ask all Hoosiers around the state join us in honoring his service and ultimate sacrifice to our state and nation.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The cause of St. John’s death is under investigation, according to officials, who added that no further details are available at this time.

Westlake Legal Group StJohn Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/military/national-guard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc article 322319b8-04e4-58fd-8ffd-ea3905fbeeb7   Westlake Legal Group StJohn Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/military/national-guard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc article 322319b8-04e4-58fd-8ffd-ea3905fbeeb7

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Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood

An Indiana National Guard soldier died in a tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood in Texas on Thursday, according to officials.

The Indiana National Guard said in a news release that Staff Sgt. Andrew Michael St. John, 29, of Greenwood, Ind., served as an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment with the Indiana National Guard.

St. John was on orders at Fort Hood as an embedded observer controller and trainer with Army National Guard Operations Group Wolf.

IDAHO PILOT BECOMES FIRST WOMAN TO FLY F-35 JET FOR MARINE CORPS

“For those who knew and worked with Staff Sgt. St. John, he was respected and admired for his great love for his country and family,” Lt. Col. Chad Pittman, commander of the 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment, said in a statement. “He continually sought ways to ensure the success of subordinates, better himself as leader, and contribute to the achievements the organization. My deepest sympathy for his family at this sad and difficult time.”

Westlake Legal Group StJohn Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/military/national-guard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc article 322319b8-04e4-58fd-8ffd-ea3905fbeeb7

Indiana National Guard Staff Sgt. Andrew Michael St. John, 29, of Greenwood, Ind., died Thursday in a tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood in Texas, according to officials. (Indiana National Guard)

The 29-year-old had previously deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the NATO Medal and Indiana Military Volunteer Emblem.

ARMY’S HOUSING CHIEF RELIEVED OF COMMAND DUE TO LOSS OF CONFIDENCE IN HIS LEADERSHIP

The Indiana National Guard also described him as a “proud father and husband.”

“Janet and I offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends grieving the loss of Indiana native, Andrew St. John, who passed away Thursday evening at Fort Hood in Texas. He served with distinction and was known as someone who always put others above himself,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement to FOX59. “I ask all Hoosiers around the state join us in honoring his service and ultimate sacrifice to our state and nation.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The cause of St. John’s death is under investigation, according to officials, who added that no further details are available at this time.

Westlake Legal Group StJohn Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/military/national-guard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc article 322319b8-04e4-58fd-8ffd-ea3905fbeeb7   Westlake Legal Group StJohn Indiana National Guard soldier dies in tactical vehicle accident at Fort Hood Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/indiana fox-news/us/military/national-guard fox-news/us/military fox-news/us/disasters/transportation fox news fnc/us fnc article 322319b8-04e4-58fd-8ffd-ea3905fbeeb7

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China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong

China has rejected requests for two U.S. Navy warships to visit Hong Kong as massive, weekslong pro-democracy protests continue to roil the former British colony, a U.S. defense official told Fox News.

The USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie were scheduled for port visits in Hong Kong this Saturday and in September, respectively, but the Chinese government has denied the requests, U.S. Pacific Fleet deputy spokesman Cmdr. Nate Christensen said Tuesday.

“The U.S. Navy has a long track record of successful port visits to Hong Kong, and we expect them to continue,” Christensen said. “We refer you to the Chinese government for further information about why they denied the request.”

Westlake Legal Group Green-Bay-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641

The USS Green Bay, seen here, had been scheduled for a port visit on Saturday. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Spc. 3rd Class Kevin V. Cunningham, File)

HONG KONG PROTESTERS CLASH WITH RIOT POLICE ARMED WITH PEPPER SPRAY AT AIRPORT

The Green Bay is an amphibious transport dock ship; its home port is in Japan. TheLake Erie is a guided-missile cruiser based in San Diego.

Westlake Legal Group Lake-Erie-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641

The USS Lake Erie is a guided-missile cruiser based out of California. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Diana Quinlan, File)

The Chinese government has not publicly stated why it denied the Navy’s request, but this would not be the first time it rejected a port visit to Hong Kong.

China denied an American request for the USS Wasp to visit Hong Kong in September 2018 over escalating U.S.-China trade tensions.

The last U.S. warship to visit Hong Kong was the USS Blue Ridge this past April.

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CANCELS ALL FLIGHTS, CHINA COMPARES PROTEST TO ‘TERRORISM’

Protests have taken place in the Hong Kong region for more than two months now, as tens of thousands demand that Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam step down and that the government pull legislation that would allow it to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China. The fear is that on the mainland, those suspects would face unfair trials and torture.

Protesters are also calling for an independent probe into the alleged abuse of power by the police.

Protesters shut down Hong Kong International Airport for the second day in a row on Tuesday. All flights were canceled Monday as protesters occupied the main terminal, and flights were again canceled Tuesday.

The airport is one of the world’s busiest, and the closure is said to have a major impact on the tourism industry there.

TRUMP SAYS CHINA ‘MOVING TROOPS’ TO HONG KONG BORDER AS POLICE CLASH WITH PROTESTERS

On Tuesday, President Trump tweeted about the protests in Hong Kong.

“Many are blaming me, and the United States, for the problems going on in Hong Kong. I can’t imagine why?” he wrote.

The president later tweeted, “Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe,” referring to the clashes of police and pro-democracy protesters.

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Chinese authorities have likened the protests to “terrorism.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Lake-Erie-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641   Westlake Legal Group Lake-Erie-DVIDS China denies request for US Navy warships to visit a restive Hong Kong Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/world fnc article 0af3fdaa-6664-5f7e-9f33-7b1d7bf01641

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General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops

Westlake Legal Group AP19224773957280 General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox news fnc/us fnc article 8b6062d6-77f1-5fee-9de4-45af1e37cdb5

The head of the U.S. Special Operations Command is ordering a top-to-bottom study of the military’s special forces community amid a rash of alleged misconduct that has focused attention on the normally secretive world of America’s elite fighting forces.

Army Gen. Richard Clarke said the review will focus on how special operators are recruited, educated and trained and how units address ethics failures. He said “recent incidents have called our culture and ethics into question and threaten the trust placed in us.”

Ken McGraw, a Special Operations Command spokesman, said the review was ordered Friday and is expected to be completed in November. The inquiry will see two teams created.

SERVICE MEMBER KILLED DURING MISSION IN IRAQ, US MILITARY SAYS

The first will comprise military leaders — with some in the Special Operations Command — who will form an advisory panel. The second will be a review panel made up of members of the various military branches of the command.

The review panel will go out and gather information from the various operations units –  which includes the Army Rangers, Green Berets, Army Delta units, Navy SEAL teams and special warfare units, and Marine and Air Force special operators.

To retain an independent view, members of the Army Special Operations Command may gather information on the Navy SEALs, McGraw said. The review panel will then turn over its reports to the advisory panel.

AFGHANISTAN PEACE TALKS IN DOUBT AFTER TALIBAN’S ABRUPT WALKOUT

The inquiry comes at a time when America’s special operations units have made headlines for all the wrong reasons. In July, a SEAL platoon from SEAL Team 7 was ordered back to the U.S. from Iraq amid charges of drinking and sexual assault. In a statement, the SOC said there had been a “deterioration of good order and discipline.”

In early July, Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher was acquitted of killing a teenage ISIS militant in Iraq. He was found guilty of taking a picture with a corpse. Two Navy SEALs and Marine Raiders are also accused of hazing an Army Green Beret to death during a deployment in Africa.

Ex-Green Beret Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is expected to be tried in the killing of an unarmed suspected Taliban bombmaker in Afghanistan almost a decade ago.

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The review will be the second ordered by Special Operations Command leadership this year. Former Gen. Tony Thomas ordered an internal review before he retired in March.

McGraw said the advisory panel will take the results from Thomas’ review into consideration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19224773957280 General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox news fnc/us fnc article 8b6062d6-77f1-5fee-9de4-45af1e37cdb5   Westlake Legal Group AP19224773957280 General orders ethics review of special forces community after criminal allegations against troops Louis Casiano fox-news/us/military fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/tech/topics/us-marines fox-news/tech/topics/us-army fox news fnc/us fnc article 8b6062d6-77f1-5fee-9de4-45af1e37cdb5

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Service member killed during mission in Iraq, US military says

The U.S. military says a service member has died today during a combat mission with Iraqi security forces in northern Iraq.

Westlake Legal Group ArmyIraqHelo Service member killed during mission in Iraq, US military says fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 62061858-6988-5f81-9105-8a64f71b8d56

U.S. soldiers assigned to Bandit Troop, 1st Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment and deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. The U.S. military says a service member has died today during a combat mission with Iraqi security forces in northern Iraq. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Leland White)

The statement by the Combined Joint Task Force as part of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) says the service member died on Saturday in the Ninewah province. OIR is an operational name for the military against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The service member was advising and accompanying the Iraqi Security Forces on a planned operation when he was killed, according to the release.

US THREATENS TO PULL TROOPS FROM GERMANY IF NO INCREASE IN NATO DEFENSE SPENDING

Iraqi forces launched an anti-ISIS operation north of Baghdad in July, aimed at getting rid of the Islamic State group north of Baghdad and the surrounding areas. Although Iraq declared victory over ISIS in 2017, the group has continued to carry out insurgent tactics across the country.

There have been 84 U.S. military casualties during Operation Inherent Resolve since it began in 2014 and three total deaths involving civilians, according to the Department of Defense.

In comparison, Operation Iraqi Freedom totaled 4,410 military casualties between 2003-2010.

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The U.S. says the name of the service member is being withheld until after next of kin have been notified.

Westlake Legal Group ArmyIraqHelo Service member killed during mission in Iraq, US military says fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 62061858-6988-5f81-9105-8a64f71b8d56   Westlake Legal Group ArmyIraqHelo Service member killed during mission in Iraq, US military says fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 62061858-6988-5f81-9105-8a64f71b8d56

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Texas airport watches as pilot son returns remains of Vietnam vet father

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070071582001_6070080873001-vs Texas airport watches as pilot son returns remains of Vietnam vet father fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 288f5ae2-c849-5438-8756-48cf5fb932ec

A Southwest pilot flew the plane that returned his Vietnam’s veteran father’s remains to Dallas Thursday – more than half a century after he was deployed to fight for his country.

U.S. Air Force Col.  Roy A. Knight, Jr.’s remains arrived at  Dallas’ Love Field on Thursday and the emotional return was documented by a journalist who was there who covered the shooting in El Paso.

“I’m at the airport in Dallas, waiting for my flight home to DC from El Paso, and something incredible is happening,” reporter Jackson Proskow tweeted.

Knight’s remains were identified earlier this year.

“When he left from this very airport to fight in Vietnam his 5-year-old son came to the airfield and waved goodbye,” Proskow wrote. “It was the last time he would see his father alive.”

ARMY VET, A KOREAN WAR POW, LAID TO REST IN US AFTER REMAINS RETURN FROM NORTH KOREA

Proskow wrote that Knight’s plane was shot down in Laos in 1967. He was first listed as missing in action until he was declared killed in action in 1974, according to his obituary.

“Col. Knight ejected from his aircraft, but no parachute was seen deploying,” a gate agent told Proskow. “A search was undertaken but could not find him.”

“The entire terminal has come to watch this arrival,” he wrote. “Incredible moment to watch. The entire airport fell silent.”

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Proskow added the moment was a “privilege” to witness.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070071582001_6070080873001-vs Texas airport watches as pilot son returns remains of Vietnam vet father fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 288f5ae2-c849-5438-8756-48cf5fb932ec   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070071582001_6070080873001-vs Texas airport watches as pilot son returns remains of Vietnam vet father fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 288f5ae2-c849-5438-8756-48cf5fb932ec

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